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Pain is a Four Letter Word

Updated on March 2, 2011

Today I cannot think.

I cannot breathe

Nor stand to walk

My pride won’t let me scream

But I don’t want to talk

I tried to sit and write

But pain got in the way

Usually I ignore it

And live my life anyway

But not today

And lately, the hold is tighter

I try to keep up, move on

Because they tell me I’m a fighter

I’m not though, really I’m not

Inside I’m crying, screaming, dying

Taking my meds, going to therapy

But my spirit has grow so tired of trying

It’s like tiny needles going in and out

A python squeezing me at his will

Electric shocks that keep firing

To torture, maim but not to kill

It’s like a vice that squeezes and eases

Constantly; and I have no control

I feel I’m bruised and beaten

With nothing that consoles

The only relief I get is if

I take enough medication

To make me sleep so I don’t

Feel anything at all…

I have no dreams…

I can’t move…

And when I wake, I don’t know what

Day it is, how long I was out

And the pain returns

While I’m still in a daze

I’m falling over myself

Because I’m walking in a haze

From the center of my back

To the tip of my left toe

The skin is numb

I can’t feel you touch me

I can’t feel water

But I can feel the pain inside.

And it’s brutal.

Why Did I Write This?

Why am I telling you this today?

Because I wanted to write something beautiful

I wanted to finish the short story

I wanted to sit here in my chair with my laptop

And write something, anything BUT this.

Like I usually do

But today

My pain keeps me from being able to connect with you

It keeps me from accessing my dreams

All I can feel is anger, despair, and loneliness

Because in here is a world

That exists me and this mottled, angry creature that has

Attached itself to my body like a parasite

And is sucking the lifeblood from me

Everyday it weighs me down, finds a new way to hurt me

Finds a way to bring me to tears, and steals a little more

Of my self esteem.

I’m unable to function when it’s got me in its grip this way

I feel it is stealing the best parts of me, who I was and what

I wanted to become. Many of my dreams have been


Instead of getting better after this operation which was almost

A year ago, each day I’m getting worse. And life goes on,

Without me

My pain was begging to be addressed, to be noticed.

Well, now it has gotten its 15 seconds of fame.

I don’t think it will change.

Prayers haven’t helped.

New Age remedies and healings haven’t helped.

The nerve block helped my back and hips and upper thigh,

For 23 days. Then it came back worse.

One day I will find the answer.

Thank you for reading…I just had to let this one out today.


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    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      Docmo, thanks for reading and for commenting. I can feel the sincerity in your words and know that it is that sincerity and compassion that makes you the fine doctor that you are. It shows in what you have written in your own pages as well. Love and peace to you, my friend.

      by the way, tried to send you an email, and can't do it from your site, please contact me on mine.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 7 years ago from UK

      This is a heartbreaking account of how cruel pain can be. Despite this you found time to capture this emotion and feeling in such powerful words, Erin, my heart goes out to you. You are a brave and beautiful soul. Your smile in your avatar is a radiant sunshine that shouldn't be diminished by the black clouds of pain. I understand the concept of pain a little and have been leading on pain management locally .. I am sure the Johns Hopkins guys are doing their best but if there is anyway I can help ( I have dealt with similar cases of post surgical pain in my clinic) send me an e-mail. Love and My heartfelt wishes that you get better.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      The pain will stay with me, they're still trying to find a cure for it. Medication will only put me to sleep.

      I have heard of the festival of colors, have a glorious time! I hope that the Gods do gift you a wonderful partner and you both have a wonderful life together. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your culture with me :) Namaste.

    • babasanju profile image

      babasanju 7 years ago from India

      Are you still in pain? Friend keep your positive attitude up towards life, people like you keep my spirit high to fight the troubles. I wish you get well soon.

      Only one thing of what you said is wrong "new old friend",..hey I am not old! and how could I be? I am not married yet.

      Leaving for hometown tomorrow, India's well known and widely celebrated festival of colors called HOLI is to be celebrated on this sunday. And during my visit I am suppose to see the girl. My parents have almost fixed my marriage and this meeting is just a formality. And I expect I will return back here with a new status "engaged".

      You are surprised I guess by reading this "arrange marriage and I haven't even seen the girl but this has been the custom in Indian societies and my family is yet conservative and I have to accept what they have for me".

      Wish me luck and wish Gods gift me a compatible life partner!

      Thank you my new old friend for sharing so much time with me!

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      I will certainly read it my friend. I am sorry I haven't visited you earlier, I've had appointments, I've been sleeping a lot and am helping a friend right now so haven't had much time on the computer.

      And I don't believe anyone is common, I believe we are all golden, with our own gifts, personalities, and things that make us special and precious to one another. Life is a miracle, and in life, there are no accidents, only new challenges. Each challenge helps us become who we are and that is how we grow spiritually. Namaste my new old friend.

    • babasanju profile image

      babasanju 7 years ago from India

      @Erin reading you is itself a meditation. You're gifted with a golden head, hand and heart by almighty. I am on hubpages for just 10 days and believe me it seems worth spending time here especially with you and 1 another friend from Hawaii, I am afraid she cudn't come on hubpages because of Tsunami alert there.

      I am a common human being at times I am selfish but in consciousness I try to remain fair, I wrote a hub "Who's Right or Wrong: You Decide" please if you get time then read it there and give me your views. I think nobody read that when I was to get the solution immediately. Though I took an action already, I want to know how others perceive.

      Good day to you too my NEW OLD friend..:-)

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      Babasanju, thank you for writing back. When I was your age, I questioned my own upbringing (which was Catholic) and began a search of sorts. It resulted in a lifelong (well, 42 years and counting)study of all the world's religions. I believe that each is right and true to its adherents and its what is in our hearts that is the spirituality that counts. Myself, I borrow from different religions to create what I believe is the best and ever changing vision of the god/s goddess/es of the universe. For I believe my spirituality should have no restrictions but the most important thing is to have a true heart, treat other human beings and all the worlds creatures with honor, repect and dignity and above all - give all you can, and love and serve all (the last part is actually the motto from the hard rock cafe if you can believe it!)You can find your spirituality anywhere, and embracing life and every challenge, both good and bad, makes you grow as a human being. There's my philosophy in a tiny tiny nutshell, OH and don't forget to laugh, enjoy all you can along the way.

      That's what I've learned from life from what I've seen so far...and I believe in reincarnation, so we must take care of Mother Earth, cuz chances are - we're coming back again.

      Have a wonderful day my friend!

    • babasanju profile image

      babasanju 7 years ago from India

      @Erin my new old friend..:-) you are much older to me and highly intellectual as well, I know you through your writing. You've learned a lot from life and have seen various communities/cultures in various part of the world.

      I am nothing more than a frog in a well and just 26 mamma's little boy yet..hehe. But I hate almighty taking tests so often and giving pain to good people. I am a Hindu and my family is very religious, in fact my father do YAGYA(a huge gathering of saints and prayers for weeks continuously). But I doubt at times even over HIS existence. Had he been there, HE wudn't have let HIS own devotee suffer..

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      babasanju, thank you so much for your prayers and I pray for you too. I think of pain as from the God or Gods, as just another test to get past to prove that we can have a good life and lead a healthy loving life and give back, make something special in spite of our obstacle. Look to the sun, it shines every morning and sets every evening without fail regardless of how it feels that day. Brightest Blessings to you my new friend.

    • babasanju profile image

      babasanju 7 years ago from India

      I feel I’m bruised and less than you.I almost cried but you know "Fake Pride". I pray my Gods to make you healthy soon and you never write in loads but never like this..

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      Martie, thanks so much for your understanding - yes that parasitic creature just feels so real at times its all I can do to not think it part of me but outside of me. Its a way I guess from getting mad at your own body which I don't think is a healthy thing. Peace and love.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Oh my dearest Erin, you’ve described your pain so clearly I could almost feel it. I believe there’s nothing more devastating than physical pain. My entire heart goes out to you and all people who are in pain. I hope with all my heart you’ll find a proper pain stiller very-very soon. I’m in awe of this poem of yours and your description of pain – “... this mottled, angry creature that has attached itself to my body like a parasite and is sucking the lifeblood from me...” Absolutely awesome! Those times in my past I endured pain, our human believe in devils and evil spirits made so much sense to me. My wish for you, Erin, is peace and painless days.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      toknowinfo, thank you so much, yes communicating and making friends through what I love most of all - writing - is what keeps me going on the darkest of days. Thanks for the vote!

      everyone, I'm working on Home Invasion 8 tonight - and it will be the finale. I'll publish as soon as I can get it finished.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      Hi Erin,

      This is a beautiful hub. You have connected through your writing and I hope it helps you handle all you are dealing with. My thoughts are with you, feel better, and keep writing. Rated up and beautiful.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      Prasetio, thank you so much and well done my friend on making your hubscore 100!!! I am so happy to see you on the front page! Love and Peace as always.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I agree with you that PAIN is a four letter word. Hopefully our pain will gone by reading this poem....amen. Well done, Erin. I can't wait to give my vote to you. God bless you! cheers...

      Love and peace,

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      Saddlerider, Compassion, true compassion goes a very long way and can lift my spirits higher than my pain can reach me. When someone can see outside of themselves and just remember that even though I look normal and act normal one day - its in spite of what I feel...and not make jokes about me not keeping stride, just be happy with me because I'm doing what I love and loving that I'm doing it. You remind me of one of those people who would lift me up to reach beyond and forget about pain for a while - and I'm so thankful for my friends like that. I don't know what will change for me, but when it does, y'all will be the first to know! I'll certainly be writing about it from a jumbo jet 70,000 miles over the Caribbean bound for Macchu Picchu! Love and hugs from me to you too!

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Chronic pain is a curse of the worst kind. I have a couple of friends who suffer daily and without medication they would certainly be in trouble. They grin and bear it and try to stay productive as much as they can.

      Their spirits are often tested beyond limits and I am very saddened to see it. I pray that your pain will be lifted, you are so gifted a writer and I am thankful to read you here at the Hubs.

      Please continue to press towards the mark and stay positive, hopefully a break through will happen for you and the pain will subside. Hugs from me to you.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      crystolite, thank you so much, i had to really search for pics for this one. Thanks so much for reading. Namaste.

      Epi, I laughed when I thought of myself as a four-letter word! LOL Home Invasion 8 will probably be out Saturday - I've had so much to do and with this pain this week, I've been doing less and taking more naps...I hate it. I've hardly been able to keep up with everyone else's not as much at all as I want to, so I'm planning to do that this weekend. I feel this big circle of love and believe me I'm going to keep coming back! Y'all are too special to me to ever leave.

      Thanks for all the smiles and warm feelings, I did catch up with your hubs last night, I'm sure I'll be behind by this evening! Love and hugs!

      Nellieanna, you are so sweet and kind - and it shows in all your hubs - the current one I am only partly through - they are so beautiful - I amazingly have been working on my book because most of it is written, I'm assembling chapters. You have the most beautiful smile! Love and hugs!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Hugs - and it is my fervent wish for you that your pain has opened the door to getting on with your book, which will continue - pain-free - to its conclusion and you'll be out signing copies before all that long!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ...well there is another four letter word - ERIN !!!!

      Actually I came today, as you can imagine, for Home Invasion 8, but anything that you offer us is worthy because you have incredibly high standards as a writer.

      Unfortunately I am crying for you under these awful circumstances of which you write - and back to that four letter word - Erin - you have given us all a lot of 'love' over time at the Hub - now this is our opportunity to give some of that love back to someone as special and unique as you!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Excellent expression on pain with perfect pics that really suit what you are talking about.thanks for sharing this.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      It's a pleasure Erin.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      Ruby, I will read Martie's hub today, that sounds like a hoot!

      Genna, thanks so much. I wish there was an end in sight - who knows it could be just around the corner. No worries though, I keep writing anyway. Its my getaway and my passion. Thanks for everything, my friend.

      Nellieanna, I agree 100% with you - it HAS to have a bigger purpose, I am trying to figure out what that is. Maybe its to give me this time on disability to finish writing my book....and I need to get moving on that. Thank you so much.and Thanks for your vote.Love and peace to you my friend.

      Eiddwen, thank you so much for seeing through the lines at the art and beauty and not seeing it as me whining. Thanks again for the votes and its you all that keep me motivated and help me stay strong. Take care my friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for a great and unique hub, although I am sorry that you are suffering from pain yourself.

      beautiful/up for this one.

      Stay strong

      Take care


    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Such excruciating pain surely has a bigger purpose. But I wish with all my heart that you didn't have it . I'm hoping it will pass soon and relief will come to you. Your description is so vivid and real - it is a work of art and guts. That you wrote it says a lot about your strength and strong character. I'm voting the hub up and awesome.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Erin, you are a talented writer, and I hope this battle passes soon; you have such a good and perceptive heart, and my thoughts and good wishes are with you always.

      Superb hub.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      All right girl! If you're up to it, you might want to read Martie's hub today. She took us dancing and brought Epi along. Hee. Erin it really bothers me that you're in pain. I wish there was something i could do. These darn backs, i always say that if it were not for my back, i would be in pretty good shape ( For the shape i'm in ) Hee. Take care my friend.

      P.S. Don't worry about your story, we'll all be here to read when you feel up to write.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      katrinasui, thanks so much for taking the time to read it! :)

      SheZoe, I have always believed that for everything we go through, there must be a reason; a lesson we are supposed to be learning, something that we cannot know just by hearing about it - we have to actually experience it. Well, I have dealt with this for almost a year and have learned humility, lots more compassion for people, how to ask for help (I was not so good at that before), I learned that I some people really want to do things for you they just don't know how so you need to ask, I've learned what it feels like to be helpless at times and how to HAVE to just wait. I have learned so much - I keep asking the universe what this lesson is - what have I yet to grasp? Please don't feel sorry for me, there are so many others who do have it so much worse, that is what keeps me from feeling sorry - I have no right to complain really. Thanks for reading my new friend.

      Ruby, I know you know what it feels like. No, my knee hasn't seen my nose in quite a while :) Most of the pain is in my left leg and most of the time I can't stand to touch the skin. Its all nerve damage from the operation on my spine. I'd get a nerve block every month if they'd let me for the little relief I do get from it. Namaste my friend. And if its going to hurt anyway, I might as well go dancing with you all in your stories!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Erin, i'm so sorry. We've talked before. I have a back problem too. I've had the nerve block, which only lasts so long. You are in my thoughts. I pray that you will find relief soon. Are you able to lay on your back and bring your knee up to your nose, one at a time, this helps me so much. Take care my friend.

    • SheZoe profile image

      SheZoe 7 years ago from Idaho, USA

      incredibly vivid and descriptive. so much so that it can almost be felt. i'm so sorry

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 7 years ago

      This is a very touching hub. Thanks for taking out time to compile this hub.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Best to you!

      Thaks too!

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      lindatymensky, thank you so much for reading and following me, I am grateful to all who are following me and try to always publish works that are more worthy...this one was just me venting and turned into something more once I let it go. I'm happy now that I published it. It took on a life all its own.

      Thank you for your prayers and my next hopefully will be the end to the short story and then some more poetry. Thank you so much for the compliment, I'm honored you think so.

      Dallas, Thanks so much. I was on your page this morning, flagged up to you as well my friend! Namaste.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      Flag up & awesome!

    • lindatymensky profile image

      lindatymensky 7 years ago

      I found your poem and comments overwhelming, yet words that had to be said. I pray that you can find some relief. I'm happy to be following you. I'll be looking for a contribution from you when the pain in not so bad. You are a very good writer.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      barb, thanks so much for understanding and prayers.

      kirutaye, thanks for listening, and for your words of hope.

    • kirutaye profile image

      kirutaye 7 years ago from London, UK

      Powerful words...thank you for sharing your personal ordeal with us. I hope things get better for you.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Oh Erin, I'm so sorry for your pain... Your line, "Steels a little more of myself esteem", sums up all that you wrote so beautifully...Life is sometimes so unfair, I pray something will start to relieve your body of all this pain. LOL.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      VV68, thank you so much, i know you all are out there - i have so many wonderful friends on here, and you are one of the best. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, I know it all helps. Namaste my friend.

    • vietnamvet68 profile image

      vietnamvet68 7 years ago from New York State

      this is a very touching piece you wrote Erin my heart goes out to you for the pain you are going through. I pray that you will be feeling better.

      God Bless

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      thanks so much tnderhrt, and my heart and prayers to your family. love and peace my friend.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image

      tnderhrt23 7 years ago

      God love you, Girl. I will keep you in my prayers. I have two sons that suffer with chronic pain, one a disabled vet, the other with multiple ruptured discs...and I see how they suffer. My heart and prayers go out to you!

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      Katie, thanks so much, as I said above...I'm amazed still that you all still found it creative, that makes me smile. Really it does, because that says to me, that even in the worst pain, there is still a part of me that it can't take away. Thank you for your kind wishes my friend.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 7 years ago from Maryland

      bellawritter23, you are too sweet...I thought this was anything but beautiful. I thought it was the worst thing I'd ever posted, but thank you so much - you don't know how much that means to me. Namaste my new friend.

      tnderhrt23, thank you so much, I guess this piece came out so much more powerful than I thought. I was so mad and in so much pain (still am) when I wrote it - I thought I was just spilling my guts with no rhyme or and peace my friend.

      MikeNV, thank you so much for the info. I've got teams of doctors at Johns Hopkins trying to help me - but I will check that out. Actually I had a fatty tumor removed from my spinal cord last spring and this is the result of a damaged nerve in my spinal cord. I was just looking for pictures that looked close to what I was suffering with, I don't have sciatica. Right now I'm at the mercy of so many doctors, appointments, physical therapy, aquatherapy, psychiatrists, orthodics, etc... appointments every day that keep me from being able to take the pain killers that keep me from driving. Its just so hard sometimes I have to vent.

      Thank you all for listening.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      WOW what an amazing expression of pain and the dreaded four letter word. The one thing that is not painful is your creative writing style. Thinking the best of health for you and yours! :) Katie

    • MikeNV profile image

      MikeNV 7 years ago from Henderson, NV

      Please google CALMARE it's a new FDA approved non drug therapy that is helping some people. It's not cheap and insurance is not yet covering it yet. But it's one more thing to try. I write a lot about health issues related to the spine. I am not going to hijack your post with a comment link. Just think you might want to check it out. The company site which is not an affiliate link and which I have ZERO affiliation with is calmarett dot com.

      Also many doctors do not figure out the difference between piriformis and sciatica.

      Dr. Aaron Filler in Los Angeles holds the patents for a MRI Scan technology called Neurography. It's a specialized scanning algorithm done on MRI machines which allow visualization of just the nerves. These nerves will not appear in a regular MRI.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image

      tnderhrt23 7 years ago

      This is gripping! I am so sorry! A powerful piece, for sure!

    • bellawritter23 profile image

      Erica Sanchez 7 years ago from California

      You just gained yourself a follower this was beautiful just like you said!!

      Voted up and beautiful!!

      smiles :)